With a desire to make films for an audience of women, New Zealand writer and director Dorthe Scheffmann identified that her cohort of women are avid movie-goers and yet there was a shortage of stories made specifically for them. Introducing her first feature film, VERMILION which celebrates love and generosity in a richly female-centred household.

“It is rare in New Zealand drama films to see an older woman in the central role who is intellectually, creatively, economically and sexually independent, and it is a personal goal of mine to reflect this world that I know so well.”

VERMILION, an intimate, character-driven drama starring Jennifer Ward-Lealand, is a stunningly beautiful meditation on life, death and the strength of family and friends in a summer of crisis.


The story is centred around celebrity composer Darcy (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) who sees colours when she plays musical notes – a condition known as synaesthesia. When she notices her vision is disrupted by the colour vermilion, she knows she needs help. While planning the wedding of her daughter Zoe (Emily Campbell), surrounded by her loving friends Sarah (Theresa Healey) and Sila (Goretti Chadwick), she secretly makes her own plans…

In these lush behind-the-scenes images, Harry Were captures the rich hue of vermilion that begins to pierce Darcy’s sight…







In association with the New Zealand Film Commission
and NZ On Air,
MF Films, This is it, Thick as Thieves
Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Theresa Healey, Emily Campbell, Goretti Chadwick, Peter Feeney
a Dorthe Scheffmann film

VERMILION is in cinemas from November 8th 2018